With an aim to promote original programming amid the growing video streaming war, Apple has announced a multi-year content partnership with producer-host Oprah Winfrey. Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programmes that “embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world”, the tech giant said in a statement on Saturday. Oprah is only the latest big star to join the digital streaming world. Streaming services have been successful in luring Hollywood bigwigs like Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Nicole Kidman, Idris Elba, Robert De Niro, and others.
“Winfrey’s projects will be released as part of a lineup of original content from Apple,” the company added. Winfrey is the CEO of the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) which is a US-based television channel owned by Harpo Studios and Discovery Inc. The video streaming is a lucrative business today and Amazon and Netflix are currently leading the market. Apple recently announced content deals with Reese Witherspoon and Steven Spielberg. Hulu, while a smaller player, is also making its presence felt.
“Netflix previously announced a multi-year production deal with the Obama family, and reportedly paid close to 100 million dollars to secure a deal with Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes,” The Verge reported. The streaming services are spending millions and millions of money on developing original content.
Amazon announced last year that it has bought the television rights to JRR Tolkien’s epic fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings. The deal was of 250 million dollars but the tech giant will reportedly end up spending 1 billion dollars on the TV series that should start production within two years after the deal. This reported budget implies that the Amazon TV series will be more expensive than the multiple Oscar winning trilogy directed by Peter Jackson for New Line and Warner Bros.
(With IANS inputs)